I’m most familiar with Rowena as a recording artist, having listened to her first album My Mother’s Song for far longer than either her or I would care to admit. Little did I know that she also wrote stories. For most of her life she has been a storyteller and writer. But it wasn’t until Spring 2015 that her first full length novel was published. Voices of the Stars is an epic novel that takes the story of Arthur the Pen Dragon and puts it into the perspective of the key players that we all know and love (or hate).
Somewhat similar in format to The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Voices takes us on a journey through the story – the myth, legend, AND history – of Arthur and his Round Table through the journals and letters of those who were there. A truly riveting story is told through the eyes and memories of Morgan, Arthur himself, Bedwyr, and the Lady Vivienne, to name a few. If you are a fan of the Arthurian legend I suggest you pick this tome up. It’s a great read!
Rowena takes poetic license with the story as we know it. She inserts bits of forgotten lore and history, as well as some of her own poetry and song, into this retelling of the tale. There are some intriguing twists to the story that long time fans of the genre might not like, but I encourage you to read with an open mind. We were not there in the time of Arthur and if we were, our memories may be faded with the passing of the ages.
Wait a minute. Did I just say “if we were” there? Yes. Rowena tells the story not only from the perspective of those who lived it, but with the idea that reincarnation is real and that some who read it might remember bits and pieces, or even whole chapters, of the book. Call it crazy if you want, but the story means so much more if you keep that in mind.
Battle scenes, love scenes, magic, Dragons, and an exploration into how Christianity influenced the politics of ancient Britain. Voices has it all. You won’t be disappointed when you read this novel. The first in a proposed trilogy by Rowena “of the Glen” Whaling.
From a Pagan’s perspective, the story as told by Rowena holds much more import than just the literary work that she has created. It contains much of the myth, the magic, and the reality of the age. Combining the thoughts and deeds of the well-loved (or hated) characters with the reality of the magical life that many of them led, Voices will give you a history of the magic and practices that may have been used during that time.
Ever wonder what it was like to be a practitioner or follower of the old ways back when they weren’t the old ways? In her debut novel, Rowena gives you an idea of what it was like. With explorations of the Divine from the perspective of the Lady of the Lake and her acolytes you will delve into the spirituality of how Rowena remembers things in her own mind. The Prime Mover, the Feminine Divine, even the Masculine Divine are explored in this literary style that will keep you turning the pages.
I’ve got to give Rowena props. She incorporates the “Charm of Making” into the story, just as the classic film does. She does it in such a way that those who know the Charm will know what she is doing and what it means, but without revealing the full charm. For those in the know, the Charm is used in the film, but badly mispronounced. Reading the Charm as she has it in the book will not cause the results of the Charm, however. Unless you finish the Charm out loud or even in your head. She leaves off before the Charm is completed, switches languages, or otherwise leaves it incomplete in the book. She does the same with the “Charm of Unmaking.”
Simply put, this novel is worthy of five stars. At least in my book.